The Gentlewoman is a biannual magazine that celebrates modern women of style and purpose. From the same creators of men’s lifestyle and fashion magazine Fantastic Man, The Gentlewoman offers a fresh and intelligent perspective on fashion that’s focused on personal style – the way women actually look, think and dress. Known for its elegance and simplicity, issue no. 8 of the magazine brings a truly pared down front cover featuring French actress Léa Seydoux. The Autumn issue also brought the launch of the magazine’s new website, designed by Denny Backhaus, true to the minimalist set-up of its physical publication. Beautifully designed, with a fresh journalistic perspective and gorgeous photography. Be sure to also explore the website, a virtual place where real women, real events and real things are enjoyed.
Minimalism sometimes relies on deconstructing and reinterpreting of classic designs to form contemporary iterations. Fascinated and inspired by negative spaces, these custom chess-sets by American industrial designer Stefan Gougherty challenges the way we look at the traditional game of chess. Using the method of carving, voids were extracted out of transparent acrylic cubes and then painted to create the modern silhouettes of the standards. The hollow centers also allow these pieces to be strung together for storage. While the new images might seem offensive to a chess player due to the abstraction of forms, they do indicate the forward movement of design and make us rethink about the normality of everyday life. I completely love this idea of taking things out of contexts to reform the thoughts of their users. What is chess without some thoughts, right?
It is a very special thing to be invited by the highly reputable Le Chambre Syndical de La Haute Couture to present a collection during couture week in Paris. It must feel even more special to be the first designer to do so with a complete unisex collection. The talented man who received this honor was Jordan born fashion designer Rad Hourani. After relocating from Montreal to Paris in 2006, he established his namesake haute couture collection and a ready to wear line named RAD by Rad Hourani. Both lines focus on a luxurious but stark look, cut in razor-sharp precision. They are asexual, aseasonal, they come from no place, no time, no tradition, yet they could be at home anywhere, anytime. They exude a sense of discreet chic, the essence of timeless style, drawn on a monochromatic and graphical canvas. On the occasion of the brand’s 5th anniversary, Montreal based art center phi. invited Rad Hourani to curate an interdisciplinary show presenting the designers work in the context of his inspirations. The doors will open today. If you are in the area, don’t miss it.
Creative minimalist minds at Tokyo based Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma & Yuri Naruse) came up with this unusual piece of tableware. One For All plate is a serving piece, designed for multiple dishes. Crafted from a single piece of wood, the elongated plate has differently sized indentations, allowing you to plan your salads, snacks, condiments etc. I love the fluidity of this piece. Designers purposely chose the natural wood shade in order to visually blend the plate with the table. This way the dinnerware disappears, and only the food remains in focus.
Espace St-Denis is a contemporary apartment located on the ground floor of a building in Montreal, Canada. Designed by Anne Sophie Goneau, this home aims to highlight the building’s raw materials. The exposed brick wall and structural steel frame were found during the renovation of the apartment. These existing features provide the home with visual focal points. The interior of the home is void of opaque walls. There is, however, a glass wall which divides the bedrooms from the living room. This wall provides a boundary while making the apartment feel open and airy. It also allows the bedroom’s exposed brick wall to be viewed from every room. The kitchen is the predominant feature of Espace St-Denis. It spans almost the full length of the apartment. I love the mix of black, white, and brick in this space. The long black counter-top is a simple and functional piece, while the white tables blend with the floor and ceiling to create the illusion of wide open space. Epsace St-Denis is a small apartment with big style. Photographs by Adrien Williams.
Emerging force Edie Karimova, recently launched her SS14 Collection embracing hues of complexity. Based in Kiev, Ukraine, her work is a combination of power and tenderness with a clean cut and lapidary silhouette. The collection sees a series of varied pieces that play with technique, tailoring and an emphasized minimal palette. Karimova is a comparatively new player to the fashion scene, having only founded her label less than two years ago. After having worked in New York for high end fashion houses and model agencies, she was awarded finalist in the Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Forward award in 2013. Her work seems to embody a true element of sophistication through reinterpretations of expected form. The soft-natured materiality aids in the complexity of her resulting work. Essentially it is the overt austere but feminine looks and a minimal approach makes Karimova someone to watch. Photography courtesy of Tasya Kudryk.
Studio Macura, lead by Dutch product designer Marko Macura, is an Eindhoven based design label of domestic accessories and furnishings, with a certain minimalist aesthetic. One product in particular stood out for me. That is the beautiful design of Lako – a bent-steel wire rack for storing books and magazines. Compact and light, it can be placed next to a sofa or a bed. Periodicals and books that are arranged on this sculptural yet functional object become a mini, mobile library. The handle at the apex is used to move it around while its straight lines and angles permit various options for storing. Lako is not dissimilar to the sleek Jorge magazine rack previously featured on Minimalissimo, but is available in high gloss powder coating or electroplating finishes, as well as three colours; black, grey, and white. The slim and simple straight line structure makes for a product I’d certainly consider for my home.
The concept is straightforward: A simple retail space gets a wall treatment made out of a simple material of 22,000 wooden sticks. Yet the engineering behind this took customized digital tools to manage the quantity of sticks for every CNC-drilled hole on the wall, which defined the direction of each stick. Behind this concept and the new boutique for mens streetwear label MRQT in Stuttgart, Germany, is the Swiss architecture firm ROK. As described by the architects: The installation refers to the flowing forms and delicate texture of textiles and cloth. It creates a unique and sensational background for the fashion items displayed on the smoothly integrated clothes hangers. The flow of wooden sticks and subtle lighting frames a central full height mirror and forms a central “stage” for the customer. Besides the idea which inspired the unique feature wall, I love effort that went in the details of this minimalist space: how the frame to display clothes protrudes from the wall of sticks, how the mirror is backlit and adds more depth to the wall, how the rest of the walls and floors are kept calm and minimal in contrast to the warmth and energy exuded from the feature wall. The...
Dots is a really lovely gaming app developed by New York based organization, Betaworks, and its task is very simple; connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines. Dots has three different game modes; connect as many dots as you can in 60 seconds, another one using only 30 movements and a new endless mode, without any limitation. Its interface is incredibly clean and simple and you can compete with your friends by connecting via Twitter and Facebook. Dots has already been awarded the number one mobile game in twenty countries.
SIMON&ME is located in a small store, founded by Simon Freund, in Kreuzberg, Berlin where they sell selected menswear and hand picked selected goods. One of their goods is this beautifully minimalist copper bracelet. Produced in Munich by a blacksmith, the bracelet has an understated elegance. It is void of any logo, embellishment or detailing other than formed during the forging process. Over time the shine will fade giving the bracelet its unique color. We believe that there is nothing greater than the satisfaction of possessing a cherished piece that simply lasts; and knowing that the product you are holding is made from craftsmanship and passion. Last weekend I had the pleasure to visit SIMON&ME in their store and have a look at the products. The bracelet is a simple, beautiful, jewellery piece that will last for years and will endure seasonal trends. A perfect gift for someone special.
Roll is a recent minimalist creation of French designer Ferréol Babin. The T-shaped object combines in itself a well thought-out functional idea with visual simplicity. The piece is composed of two independent yet complementary elements. The tube with the lighting source fits on the base. Thanks to the rotational motion, you can adjust the light, going from an indirect and soft one, to a direct light perfect for reading or working. I also love how portable Roll is. You can easily take it apart for storage and transportation. The transformer is hidden inside the hollow body of the lamp, which is another beautiful touch.
Standing in a row of traditional townhouses is the long and narrow House in Lisbon. Designed by ARX Portugal, this modern beauty is comprised of two main materials: limestone and concrete. The front facade is enveloped in limestone, one of the most common materials used in Lisbon. The limestone is set in a modern design yet still links the home with its conventional neighbors. The rear of the house focuses on the outdoors: giant windows and several balconies overlook a secluded backyard garden. Almost the entire interior of the house is made of raw concrete. This material twists and turns to define the walls, floors, stairs, and furniture. The house is arranged with the public areas on the lower floors and the more private rooms above. An outdoor refuge is located on the roof: limestone walls hide the user from the street below while a lone tree brings life to the space. Overall, House in Lisbon is a lovely design which uses simple materials to create a harmonious space.